Race for Rookie of the Year, Week 3

Will wear and tear on RGIII allow the chasing pack to close ground? PFF's Khaled Elsayed checks in on the rookie class, slotting them in order after three weeks of ...

| 5 years ago

Race for Rookie of the Year, Week 3

With three weeks of NFL action in the books, this race is starting to heat up.

The early pace setter, RG3, remains the man at the top but as his body takes more and more of a pounding will that allow his competitors to catch up?


1) Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS (+9.7)

He continues to impress even if you’re starting to worry about his health. He’s still making plays with his arms but his legs seem to be getting busier, and that isn’t necessarily a formula for staying at the top of the pile.

2) Chandler Jones, DE, NE (+8.5)

Was held firmly in check by Michael Oher until a fine fourth quarter helped him move his total pressure total to 13. Will be interesting to see if New England scales his snaps back with him looking to wear down when not rested.

3) Cordy Glenn, LT, BUF (+6.5)

Up to fourth overall in our left tackle rankings, Glenn is giving up just one pressure a game. He’ll face bigger tests in the week to come but its been an impressive start from the second-rounder.

4) Mychal Kendricks, LB, PHI (+5.1)

He’s missed more tackles than the Eagles would like, but this every-down linebacker has already formed a solid partnership with Demeco Ryans in a much-improved linebacker group.

5) Dont’a Hightower, LB, NE (+3.1)

Am I focusing too much on Week 1 by having Hightower here? Since then he’s seemed more and more tentative, a trait that was evident in preseason.

6) Harrison Smith, S, MIN (+2.8)

You aren’t hearing much about Smith which is normally a good thing for a safety. Instead he’s going about his business, making the odd play in coverage and coming crashing down in the box when it’s needed. Promising.

7) Bruce Irvin, DE, SEA (+3.1)

That’s three sacks, two hits, and seven hurries. He may be a purely situational player, but at this rate Irvin is going to terrorize an awful lot of quarterbacks as a rookie.

8) Trent Richardson, RB, CLV (+2.2)

He’s yet to set the world on fire, but there have been flashes of what a special talent Richardson could be.

9) Kevin Zeitler, G, CIN (+2.4)

When I saw Zeitler in preseason I thought the guy looked lost and that he could be in for a long rookie season as he adapted. Fast forward a month later and here he is cracking the Top 10. That performance against the Redskins was his most accomplished to date.

10) Russell Wilson, QB, SEA (+0.3)

The training wheels are firmly on, but credit him with playing the kind of football that is good enough for the Seahawks to stay competitive against good teams.


Dropping Out

Matt Kalil, LT, MIN: Had a tough time of things against Aldon Smith. Would like to see him do more in the run game.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, MIA: Wasn’t helped by his receivers dropping five balls, but took a step back after an impressive Week 2.

Fletcher Cox, DT, PHI: Needs to make every snap count when playing as part of a rotation. Didn’t against Arizona and pays the price here.


Five to watch

Andrew Luck, QB, IND: Surely it will only be a matter of time before he makes this list. Consistency lacking just a tad at the moment.

Alfred Morris, RB, WAS: Doing a good job in the Redskins’ scheme, and handling a higher workload than most expected from him. Making himself a feature back.

Melvin Ingram, LB, SD: With a hit and seven hurries we know he can get pressure, but can he get enough playing time to show what he can really do? A heavy Chargers rotation suggests no.

Mike Martin, DT, TEN: Sure he was held in check by the Lions and their quick passing attack, but his relentless motor is going to see him making more plays as the season goes on.

Bobby Wagner, LB, SEA: Only playing time is keeping Wagner off the list. Does make plays in the Seahawks’ base package.


Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

  • Kevin

    If Jerron McMillian keeps performing at a similar rate will he make this list? I know he isn’t technically a starter in Green Bay but we all know that is BS. He has played over 100 snaps in 2.5 games while playing over 75% of the snaps the last 2 weeks. After 3 weeks he is tied with Pollard for the highest rated Safety. This is my first year being able to watch every play of the secondary but I have been VERY impressed with the guy. Especially for a player that wasn’t highly sought after going into the draft. Most thought he was a late rd pick at best. My favorite part is his very good coverage considering he was considered more of an in the box safety(Good scouting by some1) Great pick up by GB so far(Things could change very quickly).

  • Cody Island

    He probably won’t usurp any of those top-ten spots, but I’d keep an eye on Texans’ RG Ben Jones. He’s beginning to take snaps from the inconsistent Antoine Caldwell, and he looks like a natural fit for the ZBS with a +2.6 grade in just 68 snaps. His consistency on blocks at the second level is impressive for a rookie.

    It’d be tough to compare him to a mauler like Zeitler given the scheme difference, but he could turn out to be one of the higher impact rookies if he can continue to steal snaps from Caldwell.

  • gweedoh565

    Trent Richardson being traded to the Bengals is a REALLY under-reported story.

  • http://reformamendment.blogspot.com/ Paul Wartenberg

    No love for LB Lavonte David? He’s been key to the Bucs’ vastly improved run D.

  • Fish

    Seriously? Lavonte David isn’t even mentioned? He’s not putting up the big stats like sacks and interceptions but he has been PHENOMENAL so far. He’s also calling the plays as a rookie…

  • http://twitter.com/NickC1188 Nicholas M. Cummings

    Oher literally held Chandler Jones… as in every time they showed a replay of Chandler Jones attempting to rush the passer, he was being held in various ways, mostly via headlock

    • JJ


      • http://twitter.com/NickC1188 Nicholas M. Cummings

        film doesn’t lie

  • madmen55

    I thought Kalil did very well against Aldon.